Book review – Where the Wild Flowers Grow by Leif Bersweden – Mark Avery

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This is one of those ‘questing’ books – on a bicycle this time. The author visits special places for plants in the UK and Ireland, with some interesting botanists, naturalists and landowners, and tells us about the places, people and wildlife. It’s a winning recipe and this is a very fine example of the genre.

Being a botanical ignoramus I learned a lot about the plants and many of the places. the author is an engaging guide and I didn’t find my massive lack of knowledge of plants made the book any less enjoyable – quite probably I enjoyed it all the more as I was learning so much.

I’m glad that the author had a good time in the Norfolk Broads with the wonderful Tim and Geli Harris of Catfield Fen (see here for aspects of their long-term campaign) and their Fen Orchids.

There is a peculiarity in this book – it has no introductory author’s preface, no foreword and not even a table of contents, which means that the reader launches into Chapter 1 without any scene setting or explanation of what is to come. That’s quite novel! Does it matter?  Not too much.

The cover? Yes, I think that works very well – I’d give it 9/10.

Where the Wild Flowers Grow: my botanical journey through Britain and Ireland by Leif Bersweden is published by Hodder and Stoughton.

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